2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Ana Martinez, New York University (Stern)

Ana Martinez

New York University, Stern School of Business

“A zestful person who will often strike up conversations with strangers or wave to dogs.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have around 300 music playlists.

Hometown: Cornwall-On-Hudson, NY

High School: Cornwall Central High School

Major: Business, Concentrations in Marketing; Computing and Data Science

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Entrepreneurship 2.0

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • NYU Stern Street Team Ambassador
  • NYU Stern Orientation Leader
  • Tech Peer Mentor
  • Marketing Society – Co-Director of New Projects
  • Business Analytics Club – Co-Vice President of Marketing, Director of Mentorship
  • SEO Edge Participant
  • Built By Girls Mentee
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar – Entrepreneurship Summit Attendee
  • NYU First Class Program
  • NYU Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture – French Award

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • American Express – Strategic Digital Payments Partnerships Summer Analyst (New York, New York)
  • Invictus Capital – Product Management Intern (Cape Town Area, South Africa)

Where will you be working after graduation? American Express – Digital Labs Product Analyst

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Manuel Arriaga teaches his Introduction to Programming class with such great energy. He is truly an engaging and passionate professor. Given that we were all trying to adjust to remote learning when the pandemic first started, Professor Arriaga would often put us in a lighter mood, making us laugh with his stories. He is supportive towards his students, and I appreciated his encouragement.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Focus on yourself or on what you want and explore what excites you. Give yourself that space to figure out what you like and don’t like. Realize that what everyone else is doing does not have to be what you’re doing. And if you’re unsure of where to go, lean on those around you. Professors and upperclassmen are a great place to start.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The Social Impact Core helped us realize how big of a role businesses and business leaders can have in creating positive change. It’s not just good to do good, but it even improves the bottom line. There are multiple examples of how doing good leads to higher performance. We’ve discussed ESG investing or how diverse teams outperform those that are less diverse. In my Professional Responsibility and Leadership class, we reflected on our values and how that influences the type of leader we strive to be. Our discussion-based class encouraged us to bring our different backgrounds and ideas to the table. It was about learning about yourself but also learning from your peers.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Earlier on in college, grades had this sense of being the be-all end-all. Yes, it’s good to keep up your grades in general, especially if, for example, you’re thinking about graduate school. But at the end of the day, it is simply a number. It does not have to define you or how you feel about yourself. The same energy spent on worrying about grades could have been put to better use. We have industry professionals and amazing professors who I wish I would’ve been able to learn more from apart from just the class content.

What business executive do you admire most? Michelle Obama is someone to admire. She is a lawyer, an activist, a former first lady, and has become a powerful brand. As I become a young professional, there are so many of her qualities and leadership skills that I can learn from. She has a way of speaking to people that brings them together. She stands behind her purpose and empowers women everywhere. She is a down-to-earth trailblazer, and her character and self-confidence shine.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? My senior year, I was an Orientation and Cohort Leader, which proved to be such a fulfilling full-circle experience. As a first-generation college student, I remember struggling to adjust or ask for help. Through the process of getting to and through college, I’ve realized that it takes a village. I’m incredibly thankful for the people who have supported me and been there for me. As a cohort leader, I became a part of other people’s support systems. I worked closely with over thirty students, helping with their transition to college. Sometimes, it just involved being someone they could talk to. Some of the lessons I learned and tried to share was that it’s okay to not know and be figuring things out. It is okay to need help because people want to help and be there for you. It makes me incredibly proud to see their progress with getting more comfortable and confident.

Which classmate do you most admire? Nisha Honnaya is a gem. I met her on my first day on campus. We later became friends through NYU Stern’s traditional Waffle Wednesday. Her kindness and drive shine in whatever she does. You can particularly see that passion as she works to empower others through the Undergraduate Stern Women in Business club, where she is currently Co-President. I’m grateful that we’ve been able to grow together and support each other throughout the years.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My mom means the world to me. She is a strong and resilient woman. I see the way she easily connects with others and is also able to stand up to others. She inspires me to be braver, bolder, and not be afraid to be me. She has done and sacrificed so much for my sister and me to have a better future. She believes in me and encourages my dreams. She is my number one supporter and is there for me for the good or bad moments. Above all, the love I feel from her and the love I feel for her brings me to tears. Te amo, mami.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Launch my own company or brand.
  2. Become a mentor and help students navigate and find their place in college.

What are your hobbies? I love making music playlists, seeing stand-up comedy shows, and exploring or going on random adventures.

What made Ana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“There are some students you are lucky enough to get to know and watch flourish over their four years—Ana Martinez is one of those students for me. In her time at NYU Stern, Ana has invested herself in several leadership roles as an Orientation Leader, Cohort Leader, Street Team member, and Peer Mentor. She is passionate about normalizing the range of emotions that accompany being a student in NYC and at NYU—excitement, fear, uncertainty, whatever it may be; she enjoys and excels at offering guidance and support to her classmates. Ana isn’t just a successful student, she is full of life and joy, and when she walks into a room, it’s brighter for her presence. We are all made better people by her example of giving back and being thoughtful about creating an inclusive environment.”

Cassandra Bizzaro
Director, Communications, NYU Stern




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